The red wines of Jumilla

The red wines of Jumilla

In association with DO Jumilla.

With its generous climate, Jumilla has always been a producer of red wines, but today the styles are evolving. Andrew Black introduces the rising stars who are pioneering the region’s next generation reds and recommends bottles to try

Jumilla always made decent red wines. Decades ago Jumilla’s wines provided colour, fruit and body to boost blends produced in other more famous wine regions. The ambition of today’s generation of vignerons however is not so much to make decent, marketable products but to achieve wines of international acclaim.

Focusing on an indigenous grape, Monastrell, that is perfectly adapted to Jumilla’s sunny, dry climate and poor limestone soils, a growing number of passionate growers are confident that they’re on the right track.

Traditionally, grape-producers took advantage of the region’s generous sunshine by planting vines on south-facing slopes, thereby guaranteeing regular crops of fully ripe grapes. Today, the prime vineyard sites are on the region’s north-facing slopes, where the heat of the sun is gentler and terroir expression comes through in the wines.

This strategy is not risk-free, since Jumilla’s altitude and continental climatic influences make it prone to spring frosts and lower sugar levels in the grapes. Leading the way are a handful of talented, home-grown Jumilla producers who are achieving startling results.